I remembered too, the fishing trips we took to Canada as a family. On occasion, on the interstate we would encounter another car with a girl I could admire. One in particular stands out to me. She had long dark hair and was riding by herself in the back seat. My heart ached to be just like her.
What has been harder to remember ironically are the years later in my life when I was still so envious of the feminine gender. The biggest envy was not so surprising. As the Vietnam War increasingly encroached on my life through high school and college, I really resented the fact women didn't have to worry about being drafted and killed too.
Recently as I considered all of this I remembered vividly one of the conversations my second wife and I had one summer day when I was in one of my severe emotional downers. In fact, it was during one of the vacations we took to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. During that period of my life, I had achieved quite a bit. I was a highly successful restaurant manager with a loving wife and daughter and a unique restored Civil War brick home. She finally sensed my mood and asked what the one thing I needed to allow myself to be happy. I never gave her the answer I quickly thought of. I wanted to be a woman. I would rather be making the trip as a girl. Instead I did the manly thing and hid my emotions. Sooner more than later, we would be back home and I could cover up my true emotions by cross dressing and relieving the strain for awhile.
Looking back at just these three instances (there were more of course) I wonder now what took me so long to come out as trans and how I even made it at all. The only way I really did make it was maintaining a rather frenetic lifestyle, with a pressure packed job and self medication with too much alcohol. I was able to build a successful male life which was difficult to think about giving up totally. So again I did the guy thing and tried to "tough" my way through it.
What a relief it was when I finally decided I was transgender and had been all along.